JAMES BOND SNIPER SPEAKS OUT

HOLLYWOOD – Talking EXCLUSIVELY for the first time, James Bond sniper Arthur Whistle spills the beans on his job.

Arthur Whistler is in every James Bond movie though you’ve never seen his face. He’s the sniper who has followed the pacing secret agent that began every film except Dr No. This is an extract from his autobiography License to Be Shot.

I began working at Elstree in 1964 just after I got out of the library. I knew Maurice Binder from his brother who was a wall hanger. In those days walls weren’t built from the ground up but were hung on hooks. And he did that. Maurice said to me ‘How do you fancy shooting someone Wednesday?’ I was free so I took the job. It was supposed to be Sean Connery, but he couldn’t be arsed, so tried to shoot the stunt double. I was all set up. Maurice had his camera aligned using mirrors so he could get a view right down the gun barrel. But then at the last minute the blighter swiveled and shot directly at me. I was so surprised I got a nose bleed and the blood ran down the camera lens. Maurice was not a very forgiving man and swore extravagantly at me. Yet when I went to see Dr No, they’d kept the blood in. 

Different Bonds, James Bonds.

We didn’t film a new sequence for every movie. But we did re-do it when there was a new Bond and Sean Connery finally pulled his finger out to do one. Each time Maurice swore that I’d be able to get a shot away and yet each time it was I that got shot. It became a bit of a game. Roger Moore practiced his hip swivel for days. Timothy Dalton came from the theatre so he alway projected! Pierce Brosnan was Irish so he spent half the day facing in the wrong direction. Because he was Irish. That is to say stupid.

Daniel Craig.

Now we have Daniel Craig and he’s very modern and gritty, but he’s also very sweet. When he came in to film his sequence, he brought jam doughnuts for everyone. The crew and everyone. I’m 91 now so I do tend to shake a little and my memory isn’t what it used to be. I told him that I was sorry about making him do it again and again and then someone realized I’d put live rounds in the rifle. I always do, I told them. For realism. Daniel was a bit upset. And I didn’t get a second jam doughnut.

License to Be Shot is released on Amazon and is available in all good book stores.

VENICE DIARY 2: JOHNNY DEPP

VENICE – In Venice, on the Lido, Italy – our very own Studio Exec wanders dazed among the stars and the paparazzi to bring you this latest report.

Goddamn Italian food. They stole Pizza from us. And now they steal spaghetti and meat balls too! And you cannot find a Starbucks anywhere in this God forsaken hole! Still, the fizzy grape juice is delicious. But I’m not here to talk about that I’m here to talk about the 72nd Venice Film Festival and all the films I’ve seen. Well first thing, if I had a star system (and I don’t) everything would be three stars. Nothing great, and worse still nothing completely rotten.

Beasts of No Nation: Was kind of depressing, looked beautiful, bits of savagery and  was way better than Season 2 of True Detective. Plus Idris Elba was and is amazing and should forget about James Bond and stick to acting in good films. Jesus Christ, Pierce Brosnan could play Bond and he can’t even play ping-pong.

Frankofonia: Wandering around the Louvre with Sokurov, a muttering Russian film director. It was funky but when he said: ‘It’s almost over, bear with me’ he won my first gut laugh of the festival. And it was of relief.

Looking for Grace: They find her.

Black Mass: It wanted to be a classic. It looked like a classic. But Goddamned Johnny Depp and his love affair with his Goddamned make up artist and costumer continues unabated. He looks like Nosfer-f*cking-atu. For all the talk of a comeback to serious acting, I’d like to see behind the curtain. Just once,can we have a performance from the man that doesn’t involve the word ‘unrecognizable’ in the review.

That’s it. I’m off for something they call ‘gelato’, that looks an awful like ice-cream to me.

The 72nd Venice Film Festival continues.